Food for Mood, Healthy Living

Mad for Miso!

June 17, 2015
Miso Glazed Salmon

I wanted to follow up after one of my last blogs with some recipes that can help balance your hormones.  Since soy is the most potent source of isoflovanes, I’m focusing on how to incorporate miso paste to some everyday recipes.  Since adding miso into my daily diet, I have seen an improvement in my memory and overall energy.  I hope you enjoy!

This fish is so delicious but black cod is not always easy to find.  Try substituting it with salmon.  Delicious!

Nobu’s Miso-Marinated Black Cod Recipe

Serves 4; adapted from Nobu: The Cookbook

1/4 cup sake (I’ve substituted sake with rice vinegar with a splash of white wine)

1/4 cup mirin (available at Whole Foods or rice wine vinegar)

4 tablespoons white miso paste (available at Whole Foods in the dairy section)

3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound each

Two to 3 days beforehand, make the miso marinade and marinate the fish. Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Turn the heat down to low, add the miso paste, and whisk. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, whisking constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Pat the black cod fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in a non-reactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

To cook the fish: Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat an oven-proof skillet over high heat on the stovetop. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets, but don’t rinse it off. Film the pan with a little oil, then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the bottom of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily.

Miso Tahini Lemon Dressing

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and is highly nutritious and good for YIN!  Not only are sesame seeds an excellent source of copper and a very good source of manganese, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.  So enjoy some of this dressing with some fresh greens and you can have a glass of wine without feeling too guilty about your liver.  It’s all about balance!


Miso Tahini Lemon Dressing Recipe

Makes about 6 ounces (dresses salad for 6-8)

1/4 cup tahini

1 tablespoon miso paste

3 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons flax oil

4 slices of fresh ginger

1/4 cup of warm water

1 shallot

freshly cracked black pepper

In a blender, combine the tahini, miso paste, flax oil, shallot and lemon juice. Add the warm water gradually until desired consistency.  Taste for seasoning. Add pepper if desired.  Mix it with your favorite greens!  

Store in the refrigerator for about a week. Dressing thickens up as it sits, so you will need to add more water or oil to thin.

Napa Cabbage Coleslaw with Miso Dressing

This next recipe I made for my husband with some pulled pork and veggies in a slow cooker but this slaw is so good it can be a side for almost any fish or chicken dish.  It’s yummy and raw cabbage has been proven to have cancer-preventive benefits !!!  I use prepackaged coleslaw for a faster and easier prep.

(Adapted from a Wholefoods recipe)

Coleslaw with Miso Dressing

Miso dressing recipe

1/3 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons yellow or red miso paste

1 tablespoon maple syrup Grade B

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/3 cups flax seed oil

Coleslaw recipe

1 package of pre-made coleslaw OR

6 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 1/2 large head)

3 carrots, grated

4 green onions, sliced

Handful of dried cherries or cranberries (Optional)

1/3 cup sliced honey roasted almonds (Trader Joe’s has awesome ones!)


Blend together miso, maple syrup, mustard, ginger, rice vinegar, flax oil and sesame oil until well blended and emulsified. Place cabbage, carrots, green onions, water chestnuts and peanuts in a large bowl, add dressing and toss to combine. Salt and pepper as desired.  Coleslaw may be made a day ahead, covered and chilled until ready to serve.

Nutritional Info:

Per Serving:190 calories (110 from fat), 12g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 4g protein

Mix dressing and salad ingredients in a large bowl. Garnish with almonds and chill.

Photo credit for salmon:  Flickr

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